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The Lady Elizabeth
By Alison Weir

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The Lady Elizabeth

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The Lady Elizabeth
By Alison Weir
Thorndike Press, Large Print Edition (2008)
ISBN 10: 1-4104-0748-9
ISBN 13: 978-1-4104-0748-1
Genre: Historical Fiction

Reviewed by Angela Evans - July 11, 2008

The Lady Elizabeth is Alison Weir's second foray into the world of fiction. A renowned writer of popular histories about Tudor England, Weir turned her pen to historical fiction with her novel Innocent Traitor which focused on the life of Lady Jane Grey. Her second book, The Lady Elizabeth focuses the early life of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn's daughter, Elizabeth. This novel follows Elizabeth's life from her birth until her coronation.

Seen through Elizabeth's eyes, this book provides a fascinating glimpse into the early life of a woman who was destined to indelibly write her name on the face of history. Examining Elizabeth's early life also gives the reader a unique glimpse into her psychological make-up and the various forces that helped to shape Elizabeth into the indomitable Queen that she was to become.

While I enjoyed Weir's first fiction book, I was not impressed with her choice of changing the point of view (POV) in every chapter. In her new book, she has chosen a more traditional mode of transmittal, and she allows Elizabeth to be the sole viewpoint from which the story is told. Using only one POV greatly improved the flow of the story line and you get an unmarred look at who Elizabeth was and how she used her looks, her curiosity, and her intellect to weave her way through the perilous pitfalls that surrounded her.

The Lady Elizabeth is a fine novel in its own right, but it is the added authenticity that only a historian like Weir can bring to such a story that makes this an extraordinary historic novel. This novel will impress historians and fans of historical fiction alike, and all will come away from this story with a better understanding of England's formidable "Virgin Queen" and how her childhood influenced her reign.


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